Refractory status epilepticus during pregnancy secondary to cavernous angioma


Address correspondence to Dr. Donald W. Gross, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, 2E3. 19 Walter McKenzie Center—8440-112 St., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2B7. E-mail:


First-time seizure and status epilepticus during pregnancy have been previously reported as the initial manifestation of intracranial cavernous hemangioma. We report a woman with no history of seizures who presented with refractory status epilepticus at 10 weeks gestation. Cranial MRI revealed a right frontal cavernous hemangioma. The seizures remained refractory to conventional anticonvulsant medications and 48 h of general anesthetic. Termination of the pregnancy resulted in almost immediate resolution of the seizures. The dramatic response of the seizures to termination of the pregnancy suggests that hormonal factors were primarily responsible for the precipitous presentation in this patient.